Peach chutney - bad proportions?

kristadarinAugust 31, 2011

Hi all,

I have returned to canning and have been canning like mad, which I think explains why I was so crazy. I spotted this recipe and made and canned it without even cluing into the fact that it is not a canning recipe. I think what I need to do is stick all of my chutney in the freezer. Is that right? Should I take them out of their jars? (They were processed for 15 minutes in a hot water bath.)

This is the recipe:

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, diced 1/4 inch, about 1/2 cup

1 small white onion, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup

1 small jalape�o pepper, seeded and diced, 2 tablespoons

1/3 cup white raisins

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin, pit removed, sliced into wedges

I think it was much too low on vinegar...

Thank you all for your help in advance.

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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Before anyone fusses at me, yes I know you are only supposed to use approved recipes. However in this case I'll compare the recipe to know quantities and use my judgment. I think there is enough vinegar for the amount of low acid ingredients esp since peaches are acidic.

You have about 1 1/4 cups low acid ingredients and 1/2 cup vinegar (2.5 to 1). Compare that to the surejell hot pepper jelly recipe that has 4 cups low acid ingredients and 1 cup vinegar (4 to 1).

These are the proportions from Caribbean Peach Chutney in the Ball Complete Book. For our purposes I will estimate low based on their guide and say 3/4 cup per onion and bell pepper. So the ginger, onion and bell pepper together would be 4 cups plus the banana pepper to 1 cup vinegar (also 4 to 1). Of course you have the addition of the candied citrus peel which is also a low acid ingredient.

1 cup peeled, chopped gingerroot
1 cup malt vinegar
10 cups chopped, pitted, peeled peaches (Their guide says 1 lb peaches should yield about 2 1/4 cups sliced peaches or 1 3/4 cups crushed)
2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 hot banana peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup mixed candied peel* (of your choice)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Here is an approved recipe with mangoes which are less acidic than peaches (although maybe similar if underripe?) The proportions are very similar.

Personally, I would leave it alone. But if you have anyone in your family with a compromised immune system or you have a low comfort level with these things, by all means, freeze it.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:49PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I don't disagree with Melly at all but I do agree with you that it is just a little low on acid for me to comfortably can it. The garlic worries me most. Plus it is malt vinegar and I'd double check the acidity rating on that.

If I were to make it for canning I'd replace about 1/2 the vinegar with lime juice - good flavor addition and more acidic. Plus I'd leave out the candied peels just because I hate 'em. :)

Otherwise freeze it and if you do leave a good 1-1 1/2" headspace in the jars and the lids on loosely till frozen or put it in plastic freezer containers.



    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:57PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Do you mean that the chopped citrus peel is a low pH (aka high-acid) ingredient? The pH I've found for mixed candied orange and lemon peel (organic) is 3.6-4.2. If you check the ingredient list, the commercial peel I know of has added citric acid to stabilize the pH. So while there might be potentially an issue with other ingredients, the peel shouldn't be a problem.

Chutneys are generally long-cooked, so if you cooked the low-acid ingredients in the half cup of vinegar first to thoroughly acidify the onion and pepper then stirred in the peaches in a second step, I doubt there's much of a problem with it.

The other method would be to increase the vinegar and cook it down. That is a lot of product and depending upon the peaches could be somewhat dry.

Just my take on it.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Thank you all. Being paranoid (and not knowing the finer details), I decided to freeze it.

This is the second time I have been this silly, and I vow never to let it happen again.

Once more, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the helpful people on this board. I am mostly just a lurker, but I just want you to know that you have a serious fan-girl out there somewhere...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:47AM
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